As Declan becomes more and more animated, more prone to smiling and showing off all of his newfound skills, I feel more and more like a 35-year-old puff of smoke that simply transports him from place to place. I’ve only recently been able to fit back into my pre-baby clothes, so mommy-induced invisibility has been a sort of convenient body camouflage.
But put him in something extra-terrestrially cute like this tomato hat, knitted for him by a friend, and even his father disappears from the world at large. With the cold weather just swinging in, he’s been wearing it out a lot lately, and it prompts total strangers to start talking to him directly, as though he’s trolling around town all alone.
The other night, we were out at a bland restaurant Downtown and decided to get ice cream afterwards. As we walked across a public square, a group of people spilled out of another restaurant and started to crow: “look at the baby with the tomato head! Omygosh what a cute baby!”
I turned around with Declan in my arms so that they could see him properly. The most excited person in the bunch was a tall, muscular blond guy who yelled excitedly: “Hi little baby! I love your tomato hat, baby! You are such a cute baby!”
Declan is generous with his smiles, so he gave the man one as we started to move on.
“He smiled at me! Thanks baby!”